Saturday, March 29, 2008

Raising my spirits

Was it the smile of early spring
That made my bosom glow?
'Twas sweet, but neither sun nor wind
Could raise my spirit so.

Was it some feeling of delight,
All vague and undefined?
No, 'twas a rapture deep and strong,
Expanding in the mind!
~Anne Bronte

Winter and Spring are fighting, the days feel like Spring and but the nights still feel like Winter. You see things like this....
The new green of the moss and the icicles hanging right near it. But there is no snow so I am not complaining!

I have been out and about working in the garden and on the lawn. The black walnuts are raked up (go kids!), the hop vines cut, the asparagus and rhubarb beds raked, the garden raked into a nice burn pile. Tomorrow, I hope to rake the flower bed around the pond and then it is onto the large garden. I almost bought seed potatoes today but decided to wait until that garden is ready. I did however pick up some potting mix etc so I can get some seeds started.

At the present time I have rhubarb, snow drops, columbine, grape hyacinths, irises, daffodil, garden hyacinths, day lily, bleeding heart, hops, lovage, garlic, walking onions, comfrey, chives, anise hyssop, and hollyhocks coming up. The hollyhocks that show life are by the greenhouse so I am not sure they count but I will add it in there anyhow because it is GREEN!

In fiber news I finished the back of the poncho and started on the front but didn't think doing cables and side decreases would work out well in waiting rooms so I started version A of the Ice Queen on Friday. I did the first 20 rows so far and have just the 4 row repeat (14X) to do now. And I actually did a crocheted cast on -Thank You Audrey for showing me that.

Also today I came home from the feed store to find Mom bought me a bouquet of daffodils with all the proceeds going to colon cancer. My ex-MIL died of color cancer. She had tests run three years in a row and they showed polyps but she never bothered to proceed further even though it was advised. Within six weeks of retirement she was diagnosed and died two months after her first grandchild (#1 daughter) was born. She was a truly amazing woman who died far to young. I am glad information is now more available and programs such as this bring it more to the forefront and collect money for more research.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Nature Speaks

There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks.
Most of the time we are simply not patient enough,
quiet enough, to pay attention to the story. ~Linda Hogan

This speaks to me in two ways.

The first is when I go outside to work in the greenhouse or garden I never bring the ipod as I want to hear the chorus of birds and the wind blowing through the branches/leaves. I choose to hear nature but have then been known not to listen to other things nature is saying to me. I have planted plants that are not right for that location or soil and wondered why they didn't do well.

The second way is that each Spring brings the list of things to do...shearing, rototilling, seed starting, cleaning up winter damage, getting chicks, etc, etc. I drive the man crazy with "but we have to do this and this and this." I make us race around killing ourselves only to realize it all got done with time to spare. But while I was screaming and hollering, freaking and fretting, Spring came and I didn't witness it.

I realized I had to stop acting like the Ant and start acting more like the Grasshopper in Aesop's fable. I needed to take the work ethics of the ant but slow them down to include some the the grasshopper's zest for the present OR to go with another of Aesop's fables (The tortoise and The Hare) I needed to stop racing and burning out only to find the race over and take things at a pace more like nature. Spring does not come over night and I can not expect things to get done over night.

So my to do list is more realistic this year. I have been the only one putting myself on a time line. So I am not going to attempt to grow peppers from seed in my unheated greenhouse only to have the frost get the bloosums, I have decided to buy my plants. But I also haven't given up the zest for new things so I am attempting groundcherries which are new to me AND suited for my zone. I am also going to employ the children more. Everytime I ask for help they whine but then we have fun doing it and "many hands make light work." And hopefully there will be time to not only hear but listen to nature. And as I am sitting here 41 turkeys just walked by.

So what brought on this patience with myself and nature? Was it maturity??? NOPE It seems age! My back can't take the beating as recovery is longer and longer each time! So the plan is to work/play in equal quantities. I will keep you updated as to how that plays out! Until then I will show the latest finished product... I have now started working on to a poncho I was going to do a stranded hat but couldn't find contrasting colors in my stash that I liked. I let the man pick between the poncho and version A of the Ice Queen, he picked the poncho. I am 3/4 done with the back and I am thinking I may change the cable on the front. We shall see if I can figure out how to do that.

Monday, March 24, 2008

The decent thing to do.

“Morals are private. Decency is public.” - Rita Mae Brown

morality - a code of conduct held to be authoritative in matters of right and wrong, whether by society, philosophy, religion, or individual conscience.

decency - correct or appropriate behavior OR the quality of being polite and respectable

Things happened this weekend that have just made me sit with the deer in the headlights look on my face. There are days when you can let people's ignorance slide, giving them the benefit of the doubt but then there are days you just have to admit there are some a**holes in the world and hope that you don't allow yourself to be like them.

Saturday we went to the feed store and then drove around the corner to a grocery store so I could pick up a 5# bag of flour and a gallon of milk.

As we were exiting the store a S10 pickup tried to turn left into a parking space and hits the whole drivers side of a Buick Regal. The man reversed and then proceeded to turn into the parking spot. Parked directly in front of the S10 were two women loading their Caravan. They stopped for a second when they heard the noise and then quickly went back to their loading.

The man gets out of the S10 walks over and looks at the car and goes inside. Now I am expecting someone like the manager to come out with this man to address the situation. Nobody comes out. One of the women walks by and looks at the damage while taking the cart back to the store and I think she might go in and let someone know....she doesn't. She gets in her vehicle and drives away. We are parked nose to nose with the Regal so as we walk by we look for damage.....he creased the whole driver's side door! While I unload (I always forget to not take the man into the grocery store as it gets pricy) husband goes in to talk to the manager. They walk out together and the manager says he knows the owner of the S10 and laughs that the S10 owner actually had the audacity to still park next to it, but says he will take care of it.

So to start at the begining...Why could the S10 owner not own up to his mistake? Why would neither of the woman go into the store and right this wrong? And the manager LAUGHS! What was funny about the Buick owner having to pay for damage done by some careless person? Some may call me a busy body as it was none of my business but it was the decent thing to do. Why do so few people do it? But they will be the first to complain if it happens to them.

So this is all still on my mind on Sunday when my daughter calls me. She is running late because when her boyfriend went to leave to go have brunch with his family they found someone threw a rock thru his back windshield. The newest additions on the block live in the next duplex. The police have been at the house already and they have only lived there three weeks. Her BF goes to the door to talk to them but they don't answer. The tenant on the otherside of the duplex comes out and he says he didn't see or hear anything but he works 16 hours. But also says don't trust this new neighbor. He states he is changing his locks and installing cameras.

#1 daughter and BF clean up the mess quickly as he needs to leave. They did not think to call the police so BF is going to have to pay for it himself. While we are talking she asks "why are people like this?" I, being older and wiser, have absolutely no idea.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

See the land, her Easter keeping,
Rises as her Maker rose.
Seeds, so long in darkness sleeping,
Burst at last from winter snows.
Earth with heaven above rejoices...
~Charles Kingsley

Wishing you all a Blessed and Happy Easter

Thursday, March 20, 2008


The year's at the spring
And day's at the morn;
Morning's at seven;
The hillside's dew-pearled;
The lark's on the wing;
The snail's on the thorn;
God's in His heaven -
All's right with the world!
~Robert Browning

I worked on the sock yesterday. I do not have to go any where today so I will get more done today. Aila (baby lamb) did not wake me up last night! It is not raining and the birds are singing. It stayed above freezing last night. It is Spring at last... so YUP YUP All is right with the world.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Beannacht Lá Fhéile Pádraig ~ Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Dear Lord,
Give me a few friends
who will love me for what I am,
and keep ever burning
before my vagrant steps
the kindly light of hope...
And though I come not within sight
of the castle of my dreams,
teach me to be thankful for life,
and for time's olden memories
that are good and sweet.
And may the evening's twilight
find me gentle still.
~Irish Prayer

Who can really ask for more than that? We partook of the usual corn beef, cabbage, potatoes/carrots and homemade irish soda bread and I for one am stuffed. #1 Daughter came for dinner and it was great to see her.
Not much in the way of fiber got done today but I did take pictures of the round rug and the felted purse. I tried felting the one part by hand and then threw it in the washer again but it still shows the weave structure more than the rest of it. I will have to line the inside so things don't fall through. I am thinking of taking the crocheted straps off also as I don't like them. I will have to think of something else.
Now I plan to watch a movie and hopefully work on the socks as I would like to have them finished by Friday.
I hope everyone had a great St. Patrick's Day.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Seasonal Change

"To be interested in the changing seasons is a happier state of mind than to be hopelessly in love with spring." - George Santayana

And there are changes...In the valley things are slowly coming to life. Last night we had rain but go up the mountain a little and there was a dusting of snow. This is one of the times I am happy to live in a valley!
Every morning we awaken to more and more birds singing. Friday morning I was finally able to get a picture of the geese flying over. Last time my batteries were dead.Yesterday morning a flock of 25 turkeys were taking a stroll across the yard. Their breeding season should be starting at the end of the month.

I was also able to finally get a picture of a robin. I saw them on the way to my Aunt's mass on 2/23 but didn't have the camera so nobody believed me.

In the evening the deer start coming down into the fields looking for the earliest wisps of green.
In the barn there isn't much to crow about. The second ewe hasn't lambed yet. The first lambs are getting big quick. It is amazing what a week can do. We took Aila (bottle baby) up and look at the difference in size. Her siblings are much bigger than her. She eats like a pig and frolics around so I hope everything is okay.
In fiber news I finally got a pic of the dyed rug. I made another small round one which is in the dyebath now. I did knit alittle on the sock but I guess I have been in a funk. I have to find something to yank me out. It is that time between Winter/Spring and Fall/Winter that this seems to happen- I may need another hobby to fill in during those periods of time! NOT!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Praise be for Sheep

The Sheep by Ellis Parker Butler

The Sheep adorns the landscape rural
And is both singular and plural—
It gives grammarians the creeps
To hear one say, “A flock of sheeps.”

The Sheep is gentle, meek and mild,
And led in herds by man or child—
Being less savage than the rabbit,
Sheep are gregarious by habit.

The Sheep grows wool and thus promotes
The making of vests, pants and coats—
Vests, pants and coats and woolen cloths
Provide good food for hungry moths.

With vegetables added to
The Sheep, we get our mutton stew—
Experiments long since revealed
The Sheep should first be killed and peeled.

Thus, with our debt to them so deep,
All men should cry “Praise be for Sheep!”—
And, if we happen to be shepherds,
“Praise be they’re not as fierce as leopards!"

More pics of the lambs. This it the man who doesn't have a name yet. In this pic you can see his ears with the brown skin. He also has a little black around his eyes so looks like he has makeup on...Maybe Tippy (as the tip of his ear is brown) or MJ (for Michael J with the permanent eyeliner) compared to his sister's he is shy.
This of course is Toupee. Isn't she adorable? I am so happy with her as I really wanted a black lamb. Look at her ears. She has so much more hair/fur/wool on them than her white brother and sister.
And this is the bottle baby. Seeing as how they are Finn sheep her name had to be Finnish but she looks like an elf, so an elf name would have been good too. So #2 Daughter picked Aila which is both Finnish and Elfish. The last 1/2 inch of the tip of her pointy ears goes back which is what makes her look elfish.

And you may think that I have been doing nothing but staring at these gals and guy...but you would be wrong. I sewed the 4 tri's together and made a bag which I felted. Oddly one small section on the front didn't felt so I have to felt it by hand. I also finished the rug. It is approximately 2 feet by 4 feet. It is gray with whatever color came to hand so I am going to over dye it...hopefully today. I started a round one thinking I would make a pad for two rocking chairs that I have but I kept going so it will be a round rug and will also end up being over dyed when I finish. The socks are getting a little attention and will get more tomorrow when I take Mom to her hair appointment. And I started a pair of Pocketbook Slippers to show a friend who saw a picture of them but couldn't understand how they fit. I have 1/2 of the first one done.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

We are Grand-baaaa-rents!!!

Last night it looked like one of our ewes had dropped but she ate and didn't show any signs of labor. We went up late last night and nothing. We go up this AM expecting something and nothing. Then right before we left to go to town to buy a fridge we decided to go check again and found her with three little lambs....
The most aggressive one is a little ram lamb (all white but with brown skin on his ears) The next one is a little ewe and she is black!!!! {Happy Dance!!!} The man wants to call her Toupee because she looks like this....And the last little one is another ewe and we ended up bringing her down hereas she wasn't able to stand. Mom had walked away and was taking care of the other two and this one was rolling on her back. We dried her off and layed her in front of mom. Mom licked her a couple of times but then went back to the other two. We mixed up some colostrum and feed her and got her to stop shaking and now she is frisky and can get up on her own. Hopefully Mom will take her back, if not we won't be sleeping much. The other two nursed and had layed down when we came home.

We have one more to go and that is way more than I think I can handle. I don't know how people have lots of lambs each year as I am a wreck and it is more than first time jitters. Sorry for the rotten pics I will get more you can be sure. I almost didn't think I would get these up as blogger was being a pain the the butt. Off to admire the baby.

Friday, March 07, 2008

It's all in your attitude.

"Our attitudes control our lives. Attitudes are a secret power working twenty-four hours a day, for good or bad. It is of paramount importance that we know how to harness and control this great force." ~Tom Blandi

So instead of having a pissy attitude about this and this
I am going to look at it this way.... If the rain had not fallen, the mountains not flooded and run down to the valley and this wonderful new stream made ruts in my drive which filled with water and quickly froze, I would not have gone out the next morning and found the beauty in this.
"The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials."~Chinese proverb

So as Cyndy pointed out in a comment to the last post, more rain is coming and after the rain cold temps. So I am getting another opportunity to view my frozen rutted driveway in her true beauty. How good can it get? I so do not deserve this little bit of life's reward.
So I have decided, I am not going to go pick my driveway up out of the main road which is were it washed down to. I am going to wait until next week at which time it maybe in the Atlantic which will save me the time. While I am waiting I am going to continue to watch this blue bird of crappiness OOPS! sorry I meant happiness.
OTN A pair of socks in Austermann Superwash with Aloe Vera and Jojoba Oil in a green which I am making for #1 who may not like them since they are not purple which means I get them!
Also OTN a rug using 1 strand of homespun Lincoln wool and one strand of whatever little leftover wool gets grabbed. It's all good.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


Let the rain kiss you
Let the rain beat upon your head with silver liquid drops
Let the rain sing you a lullaby
The rain makes still pools on the sidewalk
The rain makes running pools in the gutter
The rain plays a little sleep song on our roof at night
And I love the rain. ~Langston Hughes

We peacefully fell asleep last night to the rain. It was great, so different than the hush that comes when it snows. Later in the night I woke up to downpours. Then this morning we found out the man had to take the day off to pump out all that wonderful water -gotta love spring rains and flooding. Living in the valley everything runs down to us and all the construction on the mountains has changed how the water flows. My mother had a stream running through her back yard. My driveway had a stream running down it which eroded one foot ruts. The truck doesn't mind the changed terrain but my car does. The driveway has been here for over thirty years and it has only been in the past four years that the runoff from the mountains have turned it into a stream bed everytime it rains. The TV says we got approximately 2.5 inches. The rivers are up but I don't think there will be massive flooding like 2006.
I am happy Spring is finally coming though and if I had doubts....I got my first duck egg on Monday. I am only getting one a day but the others will come around soon, I have faith. When the weather warms I will let them set on some again.

I have not been knitting as I am still flip flopping on what to make. I did finish spinning and plying the dyed alpaca I had started months ago. I used Lemon Oil on my wheel and it looks beautiful. I also read the book The Friday Night Knitting Club. I had grabbed it just for something quick to read not realizing the main character dies from complications due to her cancer...not what I wanted to read while my mom is on chemo.

Tomorrow I have plans to drop off a dehydrator at #1's house and take mom to Border's. She is leave early/get there and get back type of person so I might even be able to get in some spinning before the kids get home from school. For now I am off to scan Ravelry for a bolt of fiber lightening and watch Idol.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Meeting the BF

“How far we travel in life matters far less than those we meet along the way."

Friday we went out to dinner with #1 daughter and her boyfriend. They have been going out for a year but only get to see each other on weekends. This was the first time we met him but having listened to him interact with her over the phone so I already knew I liked him. He makes her happy and that is all I care about. He is a lucky guy to be with her, if I might say so! At first she comes off very shy, but then she shows her thorny side, but if you stay around you find out what a beautiful rose is hidden behind that thorny armor. Just another example of good things come to those who wait.
He has eaten alot of our canned goods and has offered to help in the garden and to make salsa a favorite of his...Sucker!!! If he has the time I will definitely take him up on it and teach them how to make it themselves. Another point in his favor is he thinks she "sings like an angel"! My uncle, mom, #1 and I have a thing where for no reason we start singing. Or if we hear a word or phrase we sing a song that has that word or phrase. None of us can sing a lick so it takes someone with stamina (aka deaf) to put up with these burst of vocal disharmony! Here is an example...While taking a Sunday walk with #2 daughter, I saw this...
Innocent enough right? Well to me it looked like an arrow, which led to thinking of Cupid which subsequently led to me belting out an awful rendition of one of Bon Jovi's songs...

"Shot through the heart, and your to blame
You give love a bad name
I play my part and you play your game
You give love a bad name
You give love a bad name"

Oh well I never said we were sane, I just said we sang bad! But back to dinner with the bf. It had started snowing as were leaving for the hour drive, but they were only calling for 1-2 inches and we took the truck so we felt secure. About mid way I was thinking we shouldn’t have come but then once we got into the “city” it was fine. On the ride home we were going over a bridge that was taking us from one interstate road to another when a Jeep in front of us lost control. It spun around and was coming at us. I grabbed for the oh shit handle and waited for impact as the man hit the ice and he started to do some sliding. And then while trying to move out of the way of the Jeep and get control of the truck, comes the air horn of an 18 wheeler behind us that now hit the same patch of ice. The oh shit handle now became the oh f*ck handle quickly! But by some miracle of God the truck gained traction went around the Jeep, maneuvered to the side of the road allowing the 18 wheeler to go by without incident. The rest of the ride was uneventful but I was soooooo happy to be home. The next day when we were talking about it the man asked if I knew how close the 18 wheeler was and I said no. He said he could not have walked sideways between our vehicles, which means inches. Had I known that when it was happening I would have lost my dinner.
Saturday I got back 4.5 pounds of wool that I had washed and sent out to be made into roving. It is suppose to be fairly nice today so I might have to go outside and sit and spin. I have been doing some weaving on the tri-loom. I have 3 - 3 foot tri’s done. I plan to finish a fourth, sew them together, add a handle and felt them into a bag….or at least that is the plan!

The Ice Queen is now finished and blocked. I was going to start on the Selbuvotter mittens but need sometime to do a braindead knit before tackling them. The yarn is Arequipa in the Storm colorway from Ball and Skein and is absolutely gorgeous. The beads I used were 6/0 Czech glass beads called Black Diamond. The last pic shows the beaded picot I did. These photo's stink and don't do justice to the yarn.

I have a ton of fiber ideas but don't have the ambition to start right now. I was walking thru the house and thought about knitting or crocheting valances for the windows. I like alot of light so for me valances are enough, plus I really only have to worry about peeping deer or skunks. I found some patterns but didn't like them for one reason or another so I have to look at some stitch pattern books and just go from there. When I mentioned knitting socks for #1 daughter she didn't say she still wanted a pair so I am on hold so far as them. I was thinking maybe rug or afghan but unsure if I wanted to do such large projects right now....spring is coming and I am getting discontent just sitting and knitting. I want to be planting! So for now I will finish the tri project and maybe spin for a while and then come back to kniting.

Sunday, March 02, 2008


It’s not over until the fat lady sings?

And this fat lady is singing.....It is O-V-E-R!!!!! I am done with the Ice Queen.

I did put a beaded picot edging on even though I CO with a long tail. What I did was I crocheted it as Cyndy and I had discussed. I did a ch 2, add a bead, ch 2, sl st into beg, 2 sc and repeat. Tonight I will block it a little and I will try to get pictures of it tomorrow.

I am so happy, oh so happy!